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LVMH’s Antoine Arnault Calls for Luxury-Focused Sustainability Pact

The French luxury group’s head of image and environment addressed criticism over its decision not to join existing industry sustainability initiatives, in which fast fashion players play a large role, and pushed for greater collaboration amongst luxury companies.
Antoine Arnault speaks at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen.
Antoine Arnault speaks at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen. (Sara Galbiati)

Fashion needs a luxury-focused sustainability initiative, LVMH’s head of image and environment Antoine Arnault said Tuesday, addressing criticism over the French luxury giant’s decision not to join existing industry efforts to curb climate impact.

Arnault was speaking at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, where four years earlier Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault announced plans to form the Fashion Pact, a broad coalition of fashion businesses Arnault dismissed at the time, saying that at LVMH, “we prefer acts to pacts.”

The company has previously justified its lack of participation in the industry’s collective sustainability efforts by pointing to the complexity of its business, which spans wine and spirits and dominates perfume, skincare and cosmetics markets, as well as fashion. Its business model and concerns are also different from the major fast fashion players that play a large role in many of the industry’s existing initiatives, Arnault said Tuesday.

”I know we were very much criticised a few years ago when we did not sign the famous Fashion Pact,” Arnault told conference attendees. “It was, in our opinion, not the right thing to do at that time to be associated with the actors of fast fashion.”

But he added that more collaboration among luxury companies was needed to help the industry meet sustainability goals, noting that LVMH is off track to meet some of its targets.

”What I think is important is that we aggregate the leaders of this industry, the luxury industry, to work together,” Arnault said. “This is a hand that I’m putting to all our competitors to try to find the right standards, the right way of doing business.”

Further Reading

In a high-octane gathering of senior executives, the French luxury conglomerate mixed updates on its environmental progress with thinly veiled criticisms of its rivals.



About the author
Sarah Kent
Sarah Kent

Sarah Kent is Chief Sustainability Correspondent at The Business of Fashion. She is based in London and drives BoF's coverage of critical environmental and labour issues.

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